Water was the predominate mode of transportation for this area beginning in the 13th century when dams were first placed on the
by the “Aemstelledammers”. The small
fishing village began to toll passing boats which were shipping beer and
herring for the Eastern Sea Trade of the Baltics. The locals became expert boat makers and beer
brewers and river traffic flourished with the trade. The town continued to grow and received its
first charter in 1300. Amstel River Amsterdam
became a commercial and maritime power when it gained the exclusive rights to
import Hamburg beer in 1323. It was also around this time that herring
curing was invented. This allowed the
fish to stay fresh longer and enabled the ships to increase their catch and
In 1602, the Dutch East India Company was founded when several traders joined together to form the first multinational company in the world.
held a majority share in the company and the economy was booming. The original town and port were confined
within a semi-circular canal called the Singel.
This canal drained the swampy marshland and acted as a military
defense. The city began to expand, beginning
in 1613 with the creation of the Canal Ring.
The Canal Ring was created using the same hydraulic morphology as the
Singel. The design included concentric
canals to the west and south of the original town and port, parallel to the
Singel and ending with the new defense boundary called the Singelgracht. The area in between was then filled in and
building began. The Singel canal became
an inland port and the three main canals of the Canal Ring allowed for docking
of trading vessels.
Although the 17th century was considered a Golden Age with its period of unprecedented prosperity, the economy slowed to a standstill by the end of that century. Things improved with the creation of the
Kanaal) in 1876, which gave the city a direct link to the North
Sea Canal North Sea. This
canal enable steamships to access the Amsterdam Port which was a turning point
for the city’s economy and allowed them to become important players in the
spice trade with the Dutch East Indies, and later the diamond trade of South
Rail transport came to
with the completion of the Central Station in 1889, connecting the city with
the rest of Europe.
is home to the Dutch National Carrier Schiphol Airport KLM,
which is the oldest airline in the world.
Information gathered from the following websites:
World Heritage Convention http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1349